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Renting property will “continue to be the norm” for young people in the UK

New research shows the important role the UK’s rental sector will continue to play in 2019 and beyond, underlining the opportunity for property investors in Britain.


  • Changing lifestyles and high costs means young workers in the UK are set to continue their reliance on the country’s private rented property sector
  • Less than one in five young families in some of the UK’s core cities own their homes
  • 34% of young families now rent, compared with just 9% in the late 1980s

For the first time in 30 years, there has been a rise in the number of young families becoming homeowners in the UK.

But more people are expected to continue renting their homes in 2019 and beyond.

New research from the Resolution Foundation shows that there’s been a 3% uplift in young families becoming homeowners since 2016, when levels reached a new record low.

However, with more young people favouring the flexibility of renting, coupled with the increased costs of owning, the analysis was also quick to stress the ongoing importance of the UK’s private rented sector, with renting set to “continue to be the norm” for many young Britons.

The demand for rental homes is particularly pronounced in the UK’s core cities. Fewer than one in five young families in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Brighton and Birmingham own their homes.

On a national basis, the report found that 34% of young families in the UK now live in the private rented sector; in the late 1980s, this share stood at just 9%.

But while demand for rental homes is likely to rise further still, supply is likely to be unable to keep pace. Published in August 2018, the latest report from the Ministry of Housing highlighted how there was a 46,000 fall in the number of available rental properties on the market in 2017.

It underlines the opportunity for property investors to help support the development of the sector, in addition to achieving strong growth in a significantly undersupplied sector of the UK property market.

Source: Select Property